Thursday, May 27, 2004

on my way ... almost

It was so busy before I left I forgot to say I'd actually be taking a vacation for about ten days. The thunderstorms interfered with flights yesterday and so I chose between staying with cousins in Cincinnati or trying to lug all my luggage from LaGuardia to JFK in the middle of the night by myself. There's only one flight a day to my final destination anyway so I'm spending time with relatives .... in fact I'm babysitting my cousin Kellen right now so it worked out great for my cousin, too, while she takes the older two to the dentist. The airline agent thought I was being a "fraidy cat" but that's okay - quality time with cousins beats sitting in a New York airport all day. (Because the problem was weather-related, they don't have to do much except try to get us other flights, which I understand.) I haven't taken any trips unless they were work-related so I'm really looking forward to this.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

terror es

I'm getting tired of people claiming that there were "absolutely no ties" between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorists. Now the story seems to be changing to "there were no ties when we went to war and now there are". . . therefore, it must be our fault????

Here's some primary source evidence via Ann Coulter:

Last year papers were found in Iraqi intelligence headquarters documenting Saddam's feverish efforts to establish a working relationship with al-Qaida. In response to Iraq's generous invitation to pay all travel and hotel expenses, a top aide to Osama bin Laden visited Iraq in 1998, bearing a message from bin Laden. The meeting went so well that bin Laden's aide stayed for a week. Iraq intelligence officers sent a message back to bin Laden, the documents note, concerning "the future of our relationship."

In addition, according to Czech intelligence, a few months before the 9-11 attacks, Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence agents in Prague.

Finally, a Clinton-appointed federal judge, U.S. District Court judge Harold Baer, has made a legal finding that Iraq was behind the 9-11 attacks -- a ruling upheld by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals last October. When some judge discovers a right to gay marriage in a 200-year-old document written by John Adams, Americans are forced to treat the decision like the God-given truth. But when a federal judge issues a decision concluding that Iraq was behind the 9-11 attacks, it is a "misperception" being foisted on the nation by Fox New Channel.

Hofstra's Students Use Boos Responsibly

In today's WSJ editorial by Peggy Noonan, she points out the class the students had and that some of their faculty did not - clearly indicating their feeling that they are morally superior to a students' parents. I see this from time to time at my university and it continues to amaze me. The ivory tower has to be in a tower sometimes to protect itself from the rest of the real world apparently. No wonder I keep meeting so much resistance as I try to do well by my students and keep a foot in the real world. But the struggle is worth it.

Here's an excerpt:

I want to explain to Ed Doctorow why he was booed. It was not, as he no doubt creamily recounted in a storytelling session over drinks that night in Sag Harbor, that those barbarians in Long Island's lesser ZIP codes don't want to hear the truth. It is not that they oppose free speech. It is not that the poor boobs of Long Island have an unaccountable affection for George W. Bush.

It is that they have class.

The poor stupid people of Long Island are courteous, and have respect for the views and feelings of others, and would not dream of imposing their particular views on a captive audience that has gathered to celebrate--to be happy about, to officially mark with their presence--the rather remarkable fact that one of their family studied and worked for four years, completed his courses, met all demands, and became a graduate of an American university.

This indeed is something to be proud of.

Saturday, May 22, 2004


ScrappleFace: "'It's time for George W. Bush to release the strategic cash reserves by repealing tax cuts, and instituting an immediate rebate to the government of monies which taxpayers would have paid under a Democrat administration,' he said. 'That money rightfully belongs to the government, but Bush has squandered it by leaving it in the hands of the proletarians.'"

Thursday, May 20, 2004

What kind of toy from the 80s are you?

speak and spell
You're a Speak & Spell!! You nerd, you. Just
because you were disguised as a toy doesn't
mean you weren't educational, you sneaky

What childhood toy from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Lynne Cheney chimes in

Lynne Cheney Rebukes Kerry Over Education

1 hour, 24 minutes ago

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites)'s criticism of President Bush (news - web sites)'s education record drew a rebuke Thursday from an unlikely source — Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites)'s wife.

Monday, May 17, 2004

meaningful threats

Elegant Hack has a great post about the good side urbanity.

Friday, May 14, 2004

More from Tightly Wound

I often wonder, now that my hindsight has that lovely 20/20 quality, if folks in the increasingly incrementalized and politicized courses of study in the humanities know that a lot of the research they do isn't as earth-shatteringly useful as they think it is? I wonder if they question the validity of their pieces of paper, if they see through the sham studies that a lot of Universities are funding and that they're benefitting from, if they realize that their positions often owe as much to judicious ass-kissing and the "right kind" of scholarship as to their own intellects, and feel shame? And I wonder if that's why they need to constantly prove their superiority--not necessarily because their IQs may be a few points higher than someone else's, but because they've spent a lifetime pursuing work that no one deems as important as they do? And they fear that the great unwashed might be right about their work? Insecurity is a horrible thing, and impossible to hide.

Methinks The Tenured protest too much.

Read the rest of the post for the plumber analogy - it's great!

Thursday, May 13, 2004


University responsibilities except for one form that needs to arrive in the mail that I can then mail to campus are done!!!!! This paperwork only requires my signature. :} It's been a long time coming. . . the break, that is.

An even better column by PN

A Humiliation for America
Why the abuse of Iraqi prisoners is so disheartening.

Thursday, May 6, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

Are reports of abuse by Americans at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison hyped and sensationalized? Probably. The world media are in the sensation-making business and it's a world-wide story. Did the abuses occur? Obviously. There are pictures, testimony, an apology Wednesday from the U.S. general who now runs the prisons and denunciations of the abuse as "un-American," (Donald Rumsfeld) and "not the America I know" (George W. Bush). Is the scandal an inspiration to our enemies? Most assuredly. Were the acts acceptable? Of course not. Must they be investigated and justice meted out? Yes, and surely will be.

Peggy Noonan and Tony Soprano??

Bada Bing? Bada Boom.
Tony Soprano worries about terrorism. So do I.

Thursday, May 13, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

I share an obsession with Tony Soprano. This startles me and makes me unhappy because it has been my experience that once my inner fears are echoed in the outer culture, some kind of grim critical mass has been achieved, and trouble ensues. (Does this sound oddly egocentric, even for a pundit? I think it may. Yet it's true.)

On Sunday's "The Sopranos," Tony stayed up one night channel-surfing. This is not unusual for Tony. His sins keep him awake. Or rather a perplexing question about his sins: Why has the committing of them become so joyless? Why don't they yield happiness?

He comes across a documentary about the potential use by terrorists of the nearby Port of Newark. The Port of Newark, the biggest port on the eastern seaboard, receives millions of ship containers each year; the feds say they can check only 2%; terrorists could easily smuggle in a dirty nuke.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

School bus driver fights back

Some kids threw play dough at the back of the bus drivers' head and, of course, we've lost sight of that fact. Things did go nuts but no one is holding the kids accountable - they could have caused a wreck that killed everyone. If nothing else, maybe putting even fake security cameras on all buses would help calm this down. The kids think the bus driver can't drive and watch them and apparently take full advantage. I only had to supervise cheerleaders on a bus - and I could sit at the back - which irritated them but also cut down on various "activities" since they didn't know where I was looking at any given time. . .

A history professor takes on Click and Clack

Check out this Chronicle article.

Friday, May 07, 2004

IRC as the "Wild West"

An article in the New York Times this morning discusses IRC and calls it the Wild West of the internet. The conclusion makes a good point - anyone trying to regulate the online discussions and even file transfers is only going to force them somewhere else, not force them to shut down.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

info on Brown v. Board of Education

Here's another blog I started today.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

new site

This looks interesting. . .

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Hillbillies reside in the Midwest, too!

This Is Why I Don't Visit My South Carolina Relatives

They tend to get into gunfights on the highway. Those of you who've been reading for a while might remember a couple of posts I did about the more, um, eccentric elements of my family and their penchant for shooting things. Well, let's add another little incident to the list, shall we?

Via Tightly Wound

Star Names via Matt

Matt says that we can go find our Rap Star Name. I couldn't resist finding my country star name instead:

Joy Lynn Spears

The New York Times > Opinion > California's Accidental Governor

The New York Times > Opinion > California's Accidental Governor: " California's Accidental Governor

Published: May 4, 2004

Here's one recipe for political success: Wealth, independently acquired. Enormous self-confidence. A brand of Republicanism coupling liberal social views with fiscal pragmatism. This mix has worked well for Michael Bloomberg, who, despite low popularity ratings, has turned out to be a productive and innovative New York City mayor. And it seems to be working even better for Arnold Schwarzenegger, California's governor. Six months into the job, the last action hero can seemingly do no wrong."


surprise, surprise.........they keep forgetting he was successful in business and more than just an action star . . .

Monday, May 03, 2004

mamamusings: teaching new technologies

mamamusings: teaching new technologies: "
elizabeth lane lawley's thoughts on technology, academia, family, and tangential topics« peace must be our goal | Main
Monday, 3 May 2004
teaching new technologies
Most of the time, I really do like my job—I get to teach interesting topics to interested students, and that’s a lot of fun.
There are times, however, when I really wonder why I left behind the relatively stable world of library science for the chasing-your-tail world of cutting edge technologies.
Take, for example, the web-database class that I developed four years ago—not particularly long in most academic lifecycles. At the time, PHP and ASP were the cutting edge technologies du jour, and students came into the class knowing nothing about PHP, MySQL, or ASP. "

Liz continues to amaze me . . . wish I could take some of her classes!

The New York Times > Magazine > Essay: How to End Grade Inflation

The New York Times > Magazine > Essay: How to End Grade Inflation: "Incorporating ''degree of difficulty'' into students' G.P.A.'s would turn campuses upside down; it would eliminate faculty capriciousness precisely by factoring it in; and it would involve nothing more than using the numbers we already have at our disposal. It would be confusing as hell. But it would yield a world in which the average grade was never anything more or less than the middle of the scale. "

via The Cranky Professor

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